10 Sept 2017
Canton Express is the new iteration of the Canton Express project that was part of the exhibition Zone of Urgency curated by Hou Hanru for the 2003 Venice Biennale. Hailed as a major international showcase of works from the Pearl River Delta, the project reflected on how rapid globalisation and urbanisation in China during the 1990s had impacted on the region and its local cultural landscape.
Moving away from painting and political iconography, participating artists expressed their skeptical attitude toward a commercially-driven society through multimedia practices and site-specific installations that explored the physical, mental, and emotional complexities of life in the "factory of the world". Works from the project were later acquired by art collector Guan Yi and donated to M+ in 2013.
The 2017 Canton Express features photography, sculptures, videos, installations, and archival materials to highlight a unique regional artistic language. Presented from today's perspective, the exhibition unfolds the history and challenges behind the 2003 visionary show and demonstrates M+'s commitment to preserving distinctive artistic content and art historical moments within the narrative of the museum collection.